I love cooking (and baking) with jalapenos. I know a lot of people avoid jalapenos because they’re afraid the jalapenos will be too spicy. And while jalapenos (or Texas pickles, as my father likes to call them) definitely up the level of spiciness in a dish, you can still do a lot to control the heat. More specifically, the majority of the capsaicin (the “spicy” compound found in many chili peppers) is found in the stems and seeds of jalapenos. So if you are concerned about spiciness, simply deseed and destem the jalapenos before adding them to your dish. Or if you like spicier foods, then leave some or all of the stems and seeds in…but just be careful as the heat really increases quickly! The point of all of this is that, aside from their spiciness, jalapenos have an incredible and unique flavor that greatly enhances many dishes.
I find diced jalapenos work well in breads and pizza dough. I usually leave some, but certainly not all, of the seeds in. I was in the mood for cornbread the other day, so I figured why not throw some jalapenos in this time. It tasted incredible! I baked the cornbread in a cast iron skillet, which created wonderfully crisp bottom and edges. And the flavor from the jalapenos was perfect! We sliced the cornbread up, and it was delicious next to a bowl of Vegetable Bean Soup. So the next time you crave cornbread, remember this recipe and add a couple of jalapenos to spice things up a bit!